Very glad I finally forayed into the world of aged teas because this is a standout thing. Charming, foil wrapped mini tuochas easily crumble into brewable form. The smell is strange, but inviting. As advertised, there’s a strong sticky rice presence underwritten by what to me smells like tortilla chips, and a hot metal note that must be the minerality described. The color is unusual for a tea— it has a ruddy pinkish orange cast I attribute to the other herb involved.
The taste opens with comforting, toasty basmati rice. There’s not a ton of tea flavor then or at any other point, but I don’t miss it as much as you might expect, given my disdain for weak teas, and it provides structural support even if its flavor is a subtle whisper of cedar and a dab of smoke. It provides backbone and bulk that keeps this from being wishy-washy and thin the way tisanes tend to be. The roasted corn note is what intrigued me enough to purchase this and I’m happy to report it’s real and spot on and wonderful. Tastes like it’s been done in its own husk on the grill. Lovely to get a slice of summer in what’s otherwise a cuddly, winter-ready tea. A reminder the warm times will return. At the end of each swig up pops a spout of fruity flavor. I can’t decide if it’s more like a tangy wild blueberry or sugared ground cherry, but it’s strong and clear.

Flavors: Blueberry, Cedar, Corn Husk, Hay, Metallic, Pleasantly Sour, Rice, Sawdust, Smoke

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Getting back into tea after a hiatus of a few years, thanks to some friends. Aside from tea, I enjoy zoology, fish and orchid keeping, writing and the odd bit of art.

My ranking criteria:
100: Floors me. Something I can drink over and over again without it ever becoming routine. Things I’d buy again without hesitation after running out.
90-95: Impressive, very solid. Something I’ll drink more than once, although I might not always drink it while paying attention. Things well worth buying again when the mood strikes me but not things I always pine for when out of them.
80-85: Good, enjoyable to drink casually but still interesting enough to have a meditative session with. I don’t really care to utilize anything I like less as a daily drinker. I’ll rebuy these if I find myself missing them but don’t always miss them.
70-75: Nothing wrong with them, but they don’t really hold my attention long. I don’t rebuy these when I run out of them, though I might look for a ‘better’ version if I felt they had merit that could be brought more to the fore. I usually reserve them for times when I want my tea but will be too distracted to notice anything fine.
60-65: Okay. Not repulsive or extremely disappointing, but nothing special. Things I’ll drink if I don’t have to pay for them. They don’t inspire my feelings towards either pole.
50-55: Has some flaws, usually limited to disagreeable dry smell or lack of complexity. Still drinkable, but does not clear the bar. Did not upset me.
40-45: Committed the unforgivable sin of grabbing my interest and then letting me down. Bland, one or two note teas. Not bad tasting so much as boring. I’m much more likely to score an unimpressive tea here than an unmemorable tisane, which usually land a category higher due to my lack of emotional investment in them.
30-35: Bad notes on the tongue that can’t be overlooked, or a funky order that throws everything off. At some point I consider putting it down the drain, especially if they’re tisanes.
20-25: Probably would score a notch or two higher if they succeeded in avoiding my scorn, but for whatever reason, they’ve bothered me. Not expressly terrible but drew my ire.
10-15: Major flaws. Gross.
1: Wretched, miserable sinful waste of vegetation. Major flaws and it made me angry.


Massachusetts, USA

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